Diabetes is very common in the United States and a lot of people are getting diagnosed even later on as an adult with adult onset diabetes. The American Diabetes Association reports about 15.7 million people in the U.S have diabetes.
Diabetes is a condition where the patient has high blood sugar. Aside from general health concerns, this condition also puts patients at risk for foot and ankle deformities, infections and ulcerations to the lower extremity as well as possibility for peripheral neuropathy.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to foot issues because of the presence of neuropathy. They are unable to feel things in their shoes, if there are any open sores or cuts that most normal people are able to assess and feel.
If a patient with diabetes does not take proper care of their feet, the consequences could be severe. Diabetics run the risk of infection to their extremities, ulcerations to their feet or open sores and eventually infection to their bone with is called osteomyelitis. In severe cases these complications can lead to gangrene and eventually amputations to either the toes or the foot.
What causes foot problems in diabetes?
Diabetes affects circulation and decreases blood flow. This puts patients with diabetes at a high risk for foot complications. Inadequate circulation impacts the foot’s ability to heal where a small scrape or cut could turn into a serious infection or ulcer if not properly monitored.
Having high blood sugar affects nerves and many of Dr. Weinert’s diabetic patients also suffer from nerve damage, called neuropathy. Where nerves are damaged, patients do not have proper sensation in their feet and are unable to feel pain or discomfort in their feet. Neuropathy often prohibits people from feeling ulcers, open sores or ingrown toenails. When problems such as these go unnoticed or ignored, the results can be very serious.
What are some complications to be aware of?
Again, because of symptoms such as neuropathy, which impair feeling and wound healing, diabetic patients are at high risk for serious complications. This is why it is very important for diabetics to be seen by a podiatrist for normal diabetic foot care and immediately when injuries are noticed.
Some of the complications the Dr. Weinert treats include:
Redness and/or swelling in the foot
Open sores that are not healing
Infections and ulcerations
Resting pain in feet from poor circulation
What are some basic guidelines diabetics should follow?
Usually foot problems are resolved by getting routine diabetic foot care by Dr. Weinert. Having feet checked on a consistent basis will help to prevent any major issues such as sores or ulcers that are not healing properly that could lead to amputation. Diabetics need to follow their doctor’s orders and commit to inspecting feet on a daily basis. It is important to call Dr. Weinert’s office and schedule an appointment upon seeing anything out of the norm.
It is also important that diabetics wear shoes without seams or anything that could cause pressure or irritation to the feet. Dr. Weinert usually recommends a diabetic custom shoe that is fitted appropriately as well as diabetic inserts.
Of course, keeping sugars under control and monitoring them on a daily basis is a crucial guideline to follow for any diabetic.
What can we do to help our diabetic patients?
Dr. Weinert is very knowledgeable in what treatment options are best for his diabetic patients. The following are some of the services provided for diabetics in his podiatric office:
Information on vitamins and medicines that help heal nerve damage associated with neuropathy.
Surgical removal of calluses
Diabetic custom molded shoes with inserts
Hammertoe and bunion correction surgery
Treatment options for poor circulation
Regular check ups are highly recommended for all diabetics. Contact Dr. Weinert for diagnosis and treatment of any foot problem associated with diabetes.
Why do diabetics have to worry about their feet?
Many of our patients are also diabetics. Diabetes usually develops in adults and it is very important to at least have your feet looked at because usually diabetics run into issues with poor, inadequate circulation.
If you have diabetes you could run into peripheral neuropathy or neuropathy, which is usually a pathology from high sugar that can affect the nerve and make you lose feeling in your foot. Like if you have something in your shoe or you have an open sore, you will not be able to feel it.
You can then run into high risks of ulcerations, which are open sores in the foot and that, again, can lead to infection in the bone, which is called osteomyelitis. And that’s where you hear the horror stories about amputations or gangrene in diabetic patients. These conditions occur in diabetics that do not get checked or evaluated. This is especially true in patients with circulation problems and neuropathy.
By getting checked you could avoid ulcerations and even amputation. And it’s also imperative that you use a synergistic and team approach with your endocrinologist or primary doctor, as well as podiatrist.